Reid: No Senate vote on minimum wage until after March recess

Feb. 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will delay action on raising the minimum wage until late March, accusing Republicans of "obstruction."

Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday the legislation will not come up for a vote until after the March recess, scheduled to end March 24, the Hill reported.

"The obstruction continues and it slows things down," he said. "We've also been hampered by trying to get an extension of unemployment benefits. The slowdown has been a result of continued obstruction."

Not all Senate Democrats are on board with raising the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour, the Capitol Hill publication noted. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., has announced he does not support it.

Reid said Tuesday he will move the bill even if it lacks unanimous support among Democrats.

"People have a right to vote however they want," he said. "But it makes it a little tougher [to oppose] around here when you have companies like Gap who have 65,000, 75,000 employees who've just done it. They've raised the minimum wage already. It's happening all over the country."

The Congressional Budget Office reported last week raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lead to the loss of as many as 500,000 jobs but would raise income for about 16.5 million workers by more than $30 billion and lift perhaps 1 million people out of poverty.

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